Sunday, September 14, 2008

And so it begins...











I'm not afraid to cut steeks. I've done it dozens of times, and have no intention of ever knitting stranded projects flat, ever again. But when it came time this morning, to cut into my Dakota Dreams sweater, I hesitated more than normally. Not just because of the whole *measure twice, cut once*, and the even more important, *steeks are forever* thing- but because of the sweater itself.
I designed this sweater to fit me, and I intended to wear it until I wore it out. It did not occur to me during the six months that I worked on it, that there would ever come a time when it did not fit. The sweater was sized generously enough that I would not have outgrown it, and losing weight was simply not on my agenda.


So this morning, when I got ready to resize the sweater for my resized body, I hesitated. Cutting into this sweater, this labor of love for myself and myself alone, signaled a confidence that I will not regain the weight, which, given my life-long inability to maintain a weight loss, is perhaps misplaced. I lost weight, and then gained it back, plus some, on a regular basis for the first 2/3 of my life. Then I stopped trying, and ate happily ever after.


Nothing about the life change we've undergone has anything to do with disliking my old self (the self-loathing I see in many large people just makes me sad). That said, even though weight loss was not the point of the change, it happened, and I don't want to do it again (and lord knows, I don't want to have to buy 3 coats in one season ever again). So the change has to be permanent- and redoing this sweater is an indication that I intend it to be so.


So I marked the cutting line with contrasting yarn (and relearned that I am a very imperfect knitter- here and there in the pattern motifs, I got off a stitch or three, which made tracing a straight line from top to bottom a little tricky), took a deep breath, and cut.


I ended up cutting 2-6 1/2" wide strips from the body of the sweater (which reduces the circumference by 13", which will be further reduced by another 2" with the new seam allowances- so 15" gone). And though this yarn (Rowan 4-ply) seems very reluctant to ravel, I still zigzagged along the cut edges (on the leftovers- with the sleeves still attached- as well).

I don't know what I'm going to do with the excess fabric, but I'll think of something after I cut the sleeves away. I'll be back with side seam pictures next.

8 comments:

Knitman said...

Gosh! Well, I haven't had to that. I have at this moment got a jacket in the tailor's to be resized as I bought it in southern Germany and it would be very expensive to replace! A lot of stuff I just threw out or gave to charity shops. I am maintaining 112lbs lost. Trouble is, I have knitted two sweaters recently for me-and knit them for the size I used to be!
Your cardi is lovely and no wonder you are taking the time and care to resize it.

Nancy said...

On your leftovers...perhaps make a pillow or, even better, a stuffed animal, like a teddy bear?

Kay-From the Back Yard said...

I gasped when I saw the first photo.
As I read your post, I realized that resizing this sweater is symbolic of a whole new way of living for you. And it's saying that you'll never go back. I'm totally awed by that.

Teresa said...

You could fold over the edges about 1/2" and sew them with a sewing machine and make a scarf.

Kate/Massachusetts said...

Oh boy...those first pictures made me queasy! You are a far braver woman than I! I probably would've hung that sweater on the wall and built a frame around it! :-)

Donna said...

You are one brave woman, Kathleen. Thought I was going to faint.

Allison said...

If you feel the earth tremble today, or some strange noise in the wind, it's probably because people are looking at that first picture! GASP! I think I need a glass of wine....

LizzieK8 said...

I guess I need to knit something and try to learn how to do this...just in case I ever loose weight!